Sunday, January 27, 2013

Big Sale or Scam? Don't Fall For This Trick!....

I recently received this email:

Good day,
My name is Peter Glendover, I'm from Texas and i hope this message finds you well.I was going through your works and my eyes caught this particular work, i will like to have it for my new apartment this month.please let me know if the piece is available, if yes let me have the detailed price and more information about it. I will be waiting to read from you.

Immediately I had a feeling this was not a real buyer. The bad grammar was the first thing to give him away. Also the name didn't fit. "Peter Glendover" should not have said "waiting to read from you" If his name was Sanjupt Khumarkeyt, I might have not been so skeptical.

I figured I would play along and see where it went:

Hi Peter,

I just sold that particular painting in early December.
I could paint a similar one as a commission. The price would be $2,500.00 which would include shipping and a frame.


His Response:

Hello Clinton,
  I will like to know how long will it take to make a commission painting and will like to also know if you receive payment upfront.

I thought this seemed promising....maybe I am wrong, so I responded with:

Hi Peter,

It will take me three weeks to finish a painting that is that big.
You can pay for it upfront if you would like. Usually, I just ask for a deposit of $500.00 to begin working. The rest is paid after the painting is completed but before it ships.
If you decide that you do not like the painting upon receiving it, I will refund your money after the painting is returned to me.

I accept PayPal or you could mail a check if you prefer.
My cell phone number is (---) --------- just so you have it.

Thank you,

And now the truth comes out! :

Hello Clinton,

Thanks for your prompt reply.I really appreciate your details and frankness on this,

Unfortunately, I'm on my way to India on an official trip(I'm a marketing Executive) and wont be back for another two weeks, I would have come to inspect the piece personally. I'm taking your word for true on It though .

I'm okay with the price, I think it worth it anyway. If you'd like to know, I'm relocating soon to South Africa (Johannesburg) to be precise  and I'm trying to gather some good stuff for my new abode. Im buying yours amongst others,. So, I'll arrange to send you payment ASAP.

However, I'll have to notify my shipper who's helping me move my stuff from the US,to get set for the pickup of the piece from you as I MIGHT be delayed in India depending on how things goes.

In the mean time kindly give me your details so i can prepare a certified check and have it sent to you A.S.A.P .

This paragraph is just full of BS. First of all, Marketing people don't go on "official trips", I actually laughed out loud on that one. Secondly, I never told him where I lived so how is he going to inspect it personally, what if I worked in Alaska, or North Dakota.....heaven forbid. Why is "might" in all caps? Is marketing a more dangerous job than I am aware?

So now I figure I'll have some fun:

I tell him he never told me what he wanted in the painting. He Replies with "Apple and Banana" which is also an indicator that he is not taking the painting seriously. I gave him my address, I figure it is easy to find out anyway.

Then I get hit with the best one,

Dear Joshua,

The check has been issued out to you via USPS with tracking number (EO 059 563 939 us) you can track it yourself on their website. I concluded you are a responsible person and I can therefore entrust you with this arrangement.
You can now go ahead and have the check cashed and once you have it cashed, deduct the deposit for the piece and kindly help me send the remaining balance in cash!! To my shipper who will be coming over to you place for pick up as he has asked for upfront so he can register my other properties he is helping me move from the US to Johannesburg.
  Kindly help me send the remaining balance in cash via WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER to the shipper. You can walk into any of their agent locations around you and have the money sent right away and do get back to me with all the  necessary information which will be needed for the collection the money I.e:

Sender's name
Amount sent
And mtcn #
text question and answer

Below is the shipper's information which you will be sending the remaining money to via western union;

NAME: Denise Mckown
ADD:    15 Adams St 
             Unadilla, NY 13849

Who the hell is Joshua? At this point I am really laughing, so I respond with this:


I'm not sure how you normally purchase paintings but I do not work this way.
Once I have received the deposit I will begin working on the painting.
I DO NOT ACCEPT CASH from a third party. I do not give or send cash because I have a small amount of common sense.
Once the painting is completed you can either send me another check, or money order, or pay the remaining amount either via PayPal or a credit card through PayPal.
Once I have received the total amount due, I will then ship the painting to your shipper in NY.
No one is coming to my studio to pick it up. I am in Florida.

If these terms are unacceptable, please let me know.
I will void your deposit check and mail it back to you.



Hey Clinton,
Am sorry this has to go this way, I was short of cash and I decided to kill tw0 birds with a stone, I send a check of $3,000 cos the shipper has asked for an upfront of $1,500, I apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused you.

pet glendover
 I respond with:

The Spanish Prisoner.


I doubt he even knows the name of the scam he is running, but I felt the need to tell him I was onto the gag.

The way this works is that he really did send me a Cashiers check: It is either a stolen check or a good fake. 

Banks process Cashiers Checks immediately and the money appears in your account so you think it is real. You then go ahead and wire the money. It doesn't get found out as a scam for 5 to 10 days and then they take the money back out of your account. By then you have already given them the money. Notice that the check came from Chow's Automotive, which is a real place with solid reviews. I'm not sure if Chow's has anything to do with the scam, they may be an arbitrary victim, but I am posting it in case anyone gets the same thing.

This scam does work, in fact it has been working for many years. It is known as "The Spanish Prisoner" I had learned of it several years ago while listening to a series of Psychology lectures. 
There is a great David Mamet movie by the same name starring Steve Martin. Just for fun I suggest looking at the Wikipedia page on it.
Hope no one out there falls for this or any other scam!!



  1. I'm dealing with (probably) the same guy right now. Although I'm sure there is a bunch of these people out there. I'm stringing him along, just for fun to see how far he will go. I told him the price of the painting, and then..ah oh....I told him I made a mistake,...and tripled the price!! No problem he said, just give me your contact information so I can send you a check...and on and on and on
    do these guys think we are stupid?????

  2. I Googled it, some people still fall for it I guess.
    Had his English been better and the scam well thought out, I may have fallen for it. I didn't know that the bank would cash a cashiers check and that it would take 10 days to find out.....but I was smart enough to research the whole thing.
    When I Googled him nd nothing came up - that was an indicator too.
    Funny that you tripled the price and he still went for it - love that.

  3. Thanks for taking time to write so detailed an account. I find when things are overly complicated in the financial realm, I'm getting screwed. Keep up the good work, both painting and detective.

  4. Have you contacted the postal inspector? It's probably not enough money for them to pursue, but it's worth a shot.

    1. I was thinking about giving the check to my bank or trying to do something like calling the post office. One of my friends had a similar situation and called the bank and spent hours answering questions and filling out paperwork. It's a shame but unfortunately the system makes it too risky and/or difficult to do the right thing....I figured I would post the Blog so that all of the names would come up in Google searches.....

  5. It is amazing that this scam keeps coming around.
    With the ease of electronic fund transfer you would think that they would give it up by now. The sad thing is that it most work or they would not still be trying it. I do think I would show the check to my bank and ask what steps perused.
    Thanks for getting the word out.
    Glad you did not get burned.

    1. Thanks Jim,

      I am still on the fence about whether or not to show the check to the bank. The last thing I need is to be put into a position where I have to defend myself for doing the right thing.
      This Blog post is showing up when his name is searched for in Google, which was all I really wanted to happen.
      It is also funny that he sent three question marks when I mentioned "The Spanish Prisoner" He doesn't know the name of the scam he is running.....

  6. wow, I am an artist too and just received an email from peter glendover. Thanks for posting this on your blog! Now I know to delete!

    1. Excellent!! That is exactly why I posted it!! Did you read this first or find out through Google?

  7. Hi,

    Thanks for the post. I just got the same basic email (Pieter Glendover, misspelled), checked Google, and stopped wasting my time. I've gotten similar ones in the past, and always remain polite, even when 90% confident of the scam. I don't like to be rude, nor to I like to get desperate. It is sad to imagine the kind of life someone leads to come up with this stuff, and what they must imagine our lives to be. Thanks again for thinking of others and posting this.

    1. I was nice until I he asked me to Western Union him money, which was when I was absolutely sure it was a scam. I had a situation recently where I thought for sure it was a scam, and it turned out to be a real commission, so it is always good to be cautious but nice.....
      I'm glad this is coming up in Google searches and you found it.